HyPoint, a company developing hydrogen fuel cell systems for urban air mobility, has opened the doors to a new research and development facility at the Discovery Park site in the U.K.
Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, HyPoint’s new Sandwich, Kent, facility aims to produce fuel cells for new hydrogen-powered aircraft, including eVTOL designs.
“We are thrilled to bring our team and technology to the world-class Discovery Park science and innovation hub, which is already home to industry giants such as Pfizer,” said Dr. Alex Ivanenko, HyPoint’s founder and chief executive officer, in a press release. “This location will enable us to accelerate the development and delivery of our hydrogen fuel cell technology to aviation and aeronautical companies in the U.K. and around the world.”
During a launch event this morning, company representatives said HyPoint plans to invest more than £11 million (US$14.9 million) in the facility and expand its U.K. team to more than 100 employees by the end of 2025. At this point, the company also expects to have 100 megawatts of onsite plant capacity.
HyPoint, which has received awards from NASA, is developing a fuel cell system that uses compressed air for both cooling and oxygen supply to deliver up to 2,000 watts per kilogram of specific power — more than triple the power-to-weight ratio of traditional liquid-cooled systems, the company claims. The company also said its system will have up to 1,500 watt-hours per kilogram of energy density, which can outperform current battery systems used in eVTOL designs and allow for longer-distance flights.
In a bid to increase its system level power, durability, and operating temperature, HyPoint partnered with BASF, a multinational chemical company, in October. The companies are working on a new system which they said will be able to deliver more than 3,000 W/kg of specific power. The system is expected to be available in 2025.
The company has already garnered attention from other aerospace companies, with three customers interested in its hydrogen fuel cell system. Last summer, HyPoint announced a partnership with Piasecki Aircraft that would see HyPoint develop hydrogen fuel cell systems for Piasecki’s PA-890 helicopters, which the company aims to have commercially available in 2025.
HyPoint is also working ZeroAvia, which is building a hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft, as well as Airbus, which has completed a feasibility study with HyPoint late last year, the company said.
In addition, a company representative told eVTOL.com that a number of other eVTOL developers have agreed to place future orders with HyPoint, including Urban Aeronautics for its CityHawk eVTOL aircraft — although they currently do not have purchase orders in place.